In her Year of the Dragon review in ’85, I distinctly remember Pauline Kael crediting Elvis Mitchell for the term “mood hair” — a reference to Mickey Rourke‘s sometimes gray, sometimes gray and brown, sometimes grayish-white thatch in Michael Cimino‘s crime film. Kael set a good example by reminding that if you want to use some other critic’s line or phrase in your own movie review it’s good manners to credit them. I have an experience to relate along these lines that’s hardly worth mentioning, but I’m going to mention it anyway.
In his 10.1.07 review of Peter Berg‘s The Kingdom, New Yorker critic Anthony Lane used the term “C.S.I. Riyadh” to describe a portion of the film. To the best of my knowledge I was first out of the gate with that term. On 8.5.07 I wrote that The Kingdom was “an episode of CSI: Riyadh with a totally riveting third-act that recalls the trapped-diplomat-ambush scene in Clear and Present Danger.”
Maybe someone else used it before me (it’s that that brilliant a term — anyone could have thought of it), but if I were to write my first-ever Kingdom review today and wanted to use it, I would include a tip-of-the-hat to Lane.